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The Fertility-Inhibiting Effects of the Intermediate Fertility Variables

John Bongaarts
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 13, No. 6/7 (Jun. - Jul., 1982), pp. 179-189
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1965445
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1965445
Page Count: 11
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The Fertility-Inhibiting Effects of the Intermediate Fertility Variables
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Abstract

Based on the application of an aggregate reproductive model, this study demonstrates that a small number of intermediate fertility variables are responsible for most of the variation in fertility levels of populations. Four variables--proportion married, contraception, induced abortion, and postpartum infecundability--are generally the most important determinants of fertility; the other intermediate factors are of less interest except in unusual circumstances. These four factors explain 96 percent of the variance in the total fertility rate in a sample of 41 populations that include developing and developed countries as well as historical populations. In the last section, the average fertility effect of the principal intermediate fertility variables is estimated for groups of contemporary populations with different total fertility rates.

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